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Monday, April 25, 2016

Monday Morning Devo - Is Forgiving Important?

Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven." Matthew 18:21-22

How important is forgiveness? Well, a long time before psychologists and psychiatrists were invented, Jesus knew how important it was. Carrying grudges burns holes in your middle. It eats your brain and fills you with an anger that won't be cooled. Not even revenge makes it go away; no, that makes it even worse.

I could point you to a bunch of other passages with the examples of and commandments to forgive.
The epitome of examples might be when Jesus forgave those who had tortured and were killing Him even as they gambled for His clothing and laughed at the sign on His cross naming Him as King of the Jews.

When should you forgive? Well, best is immediately, of course. Can we do that? Not easily, I know.

I guess it's easier to forgive when the person comes to you and says he or she is sorry. Not quite so easy when they refuse to admit they're in the wrong.

But do it anyway.

How about if they hurt someone you care about--your spouse, your kids, your best friend--it doesn't matter. They wounded your loved one, and they don't deserve forgiveness.

Do it anyway.

How about forgiving yourself? You know God's forgiven you, maybe even the person you hurt has forgiven you--but what you did still bothers you. If you can do it without causing further damage, ask the person you offended for their forgiveness. Then ask God to pardon you. He will. Now the hardest part: forgive yourself. Now, that is all but impossible.

Do it anyway.

I'm too simplistic? Yes, I am. Just remember, God can (and will) help. Give it to Him And when your human nature tries to take it back, give it to Him again. And again, as often as it comes back. Before you reach seven times seventy, it will be a fact soaked all the way into the marrow of your bones.

Lord--thank You that You forgive me a whole lot more often than 490 times. Amen.
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